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J Biomed Sci. 2011 Mar 8;18:21. doi: 10.1186/1423-0127-18-21.

Vascular disrupting agent DMXAA enhances the antitumor effects generated by therapeutic HPV DNA vaccines.

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Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Antigen-specific immunotherapy using DNA vaccines has emerged as an attractive approach for the control of tumors. Another novel cancer therapy involves the employment of the vascular disrupting agent, 5,6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA). In the current study, we aimed to test the combination of DMXAA treatment with human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E7 DNA vaccination to enhance the antitumor effects and E7-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses in treated mice. We determined that treatment with DMXAA generates significant therapeutic effects against TC-1 tumors but does not enhance the antigen-specific immune responses in tumor bearing mice. We then found that combination of DMXAA treatment with E7 DNA vaccination generates potent antitumor effects and E7-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses in the splenocytes of tumor bearing mice. Furthermore, the DMXAA-mediated enhancement or suppression of E7-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses generated by CRT/E7 DNA vaccination was found to be dependent on the time of administration of DMXAA and was also applicable to other antigen-specific vaccines. In addition, we determined that inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) plays a role in the immune suppression caused by DMXAA administration before DNA vaccination. Our study has significant implications for future clinical translation.

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